Monday, June 17, 2013

Arlington Deal In Contract: 12 Arlington Place

Brooklyn real estate followers are all a flitter over the stunning price fetched at 7 Arlington Place, a listing that asked $1.3M and got $1.7M on an offer within a week without an open house.  Meanwhile, another house falls a bit below the radar across the street on one of Bed-Stuy's cutest blocks.  If you missed 22 Arlington Place for $725K last year, or 18 Arlington Place for around $1.2M a few months ago, maybe you missed 12 Arlington Place, which just went in contract with an asking price of $1.35M.  Bids came in quickly because of the location, the block, the supply & demand climate, and the house itself.  The renovation they did is totally legit, and the grainy bootleg pictures barely do it justice:

Even at 16.5' wide on only an 80' lot, this is the quintessential triplex-over-garden 2-Family.  All mechanicals have been updated.  The fixtures aren't everyone's taste, but way decent.  Little touches like washer & dryer in the basement make it totally turnkey.  It's a sale that will make you yearn for the yester-year of a few months ago when this kind of house went for $200K less - or even basically half this price less than a year ago.  Feels like just yesterday.  Drake says, "I did overnight, couldn't happen any quicker."  When Prospect Heights goes from $2M to $3M in under 9 months, is it okay for the next layer of houses to easily cross the $1M mark and then some?

But we're not recklessly bullish either.  Find us a condo under $1.4M that beats this house and we can have an honest debate.  Reuters reports today that "home builder sentiment index" is the highest it's been in 7 years.  Now what kind of metric is that?  The people whose whole business it is to build more new homes (including in states like Florida where more homes were built during the boom than owners to live in them) are simply feeling better?  These "readings above 50 mean more builders view market conditions as favorable than poor."  7 years ago, we were at the top of a bubble.  One Platinum Member reports that folks around his way are saying Brooklyn looks bubbly.  The new batch of pricepoints, and the houses that want them, is daunting.  This article says things seem bubbly from Brooklyn to California.  But can you really compare the two?  It wasn't even two years ago that people barely knew about a gem such as 931 St. Marks Avenue.  Now that same broker gets a listing on Bergen Street in Crown Heights at an even higher price and has 300 visitors and 50 offers.  People were writing us immediately and asking if it was underpriced on purpose.  Who's to say what's bubble and what's simply supply & demand?  Whether home building sentiment is high or low, they ain't building anymore ~100 year old houses anymore, so get 'em when/while you can.  And to think, 12 Arlington goes for even more with a better listing!

Pro's:  curb appeal, cute block, totally turnkey, under $1.4M with $1.7M fixer-upper neighbor, Nostrand A train on deck

Con's:  gone already, not everyone's taste, narrow, lots of competition in cash

Ideally:  another sign of the times, and a great value compared to the neighbor across the street.

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